Virtual Money Crime Under Investigation in Australia

Money Laundering

Australian police forces are investigating online virtual worlds due to concerns over money laundering. NSW Detective Superintendent Commander Colin Dyson said the area was a “growing area of interest,” though didn’t name the games under investigation.

In most virtual environments, such as World of Warcraft, Second Life and selected Facebook games gamers are able to transfer real currencies into virtual money to buy and sell in-game add-ins. Transactions in the online gaming environment makes it difficult to trace and communication is possibly being used by criminals according to Dyson.

In Second Life, the currency is usually 270-250 Linden dollars to one USD. Second Life is known to have its own economy and enables the purchase virtual items such as land, clothing, audio and video and vehicles in the marketplace.

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